So, I got to Addis Ababa
safe and met up with Geneti, a good friend from college. It's quite funny. My first night there and I'm giving the dude directions. Read the bloody signs, son. Anyways, we went straight to a club after I got there and didn't get to bed until around 5:30. Slept for only 4 hours. The next day, we just chilled in Addis, prepping for our trip to Gondar
(goon-dar). We didn't sleep that night. We went clubbing until about 3:30 after which we hopped on the bus for Gondar, about 700 km from Addis. We didn't get there until about 18:15. When we were leaving the city limits of Addis, we were stopped by the police.
They made the passengers unload all their belongings from the top of the bus and they searched them. I really don't know what the point was. The searches (even on the way back) were perfunctory at best. We were on that bus for 13 hours. My ass was aching, this time for real. We met up with Aster, Geneti's fiancee. She's from Gondar. We ate up and went "clubbing." Yeah right. It was some traditional crap where some people were playing instruments and some other people were singing and the patrons were "dancing." I swear the Ethiopian dances are the weirdest I've ever seen. They put their thumbs into their pockets and then they start shaking their shoulders as if they're spastic or suffering from seizures or something. Then they look from right to left over their shoulders.
I wish I could have bought a DVD of it. It was too funny.
Random Thought: The government actually makes foreigners pay more for hotels and attractions. In Gondar, we almost got into a fight over this. The first night at a hotel, I paid the local price. Then, after trying to renew for another night, I was told I would have to pay 233 birr (as opposed to 100 birr from the previous night). Screw that. Unfortunately, we'd already given them the money for the next night. The bastard refused to return the money saying he was going to deduct the extra 133 from the previous night. When he threatened to call the police, we had to give in because Aster could be thrown in jail for lying about my nationality the night before.
In Gondar, we went to the Fasiladas castle, where I had to pay 5x what Geneti and Aster paid combined.
It's all good. It was just 5 bucks. After Gondar, we went to Bahir Dar
, another town we had passed on the way to Gondar. There we took a boat on Lake Tana and went to the Debra-Miriam monastery where Mary, mother of Jesus, supposedly came to pray. We saw the oldest translation of the gospels into Gese (I guess). We got our blessings from the ancient monk there and went back to shore. One of the kids on the island showed us the raft they use to go to school. Sometimes, the vessel capsizes and they get their exercise books all wet and have to swim back to shore.
Now, at this point we had to return to Addis. No bloody way am I getting back on those damn buses.
It's only 45 minutes to Addis by air. So, we went to the Ethiopian Airlines office. Nope. They didn't have any seats for the day we wanted. They did have some for Sunday though. Yeah, much good that'd do me. I have to return to Atlanta on Saturday. Guess it's the bus for us again. That night, we had to catch the bus at 4 a.m. I do have to admit though. The ride back wasn't too bad, mainly because the bus was more spacious.
Anyhoo, when we got back to Addis, all there was left to do was clubbing. So, I clubbed myself out for the last two nights. We went to some really good clubs, Club Memo and Concorde. I recommend them to anyone having the misfortune of going to Addis. I kid. Addis wasn't all bad.
Now, my final thoughts on Ethiopia:
- These muthas need to look before crossing.
They just step into the road. We almost ran into a pedestrian on the way to Gondar. The driver was honking but this chick still managed to somehow step into the middle of the road. The driver swerved just in time to avoid running her over.
- These muthas need to stop celebrating their bloody millenium already. People, it's been six months already. Nobody gives a crap anymore.
- The internet over there was really slow. I think they're still on dialup.
- These muthas need to find better food. That injera shit needs to go. No wonder dem people are so skinny. I wouldn't eat that shit either.
- These muthas are really tiny for the most part. I looked like bloody Hulk Hogan standing next to most of them.
- These muthas need to learn how to spell in English. It's rather embarassing really. Here are a very few I remember but trust me, there were a lot more:
- Roasted lamb = Roosted lamp
- Manager = Manger
- Millenium = Millinium
- Purple = Purpel
- Snacks = Snakes
- Meat = Meet
- Sauce = Soss
- These muthas need to stop using their horns so much. It's there for necessity, people. It's not supposed to be a part of every day driving. There were times I wanted to get out and bitch slap somebody. I'm bigger than most anyways.
- These muthas need to stop being fearful of people in power. That's most of Africa tho'.
Geneti and myself once went to the Hilton to get out some cash. There was this stupid ass driver behind us that was flashing his light and honking, being a complete pain in the ass. After we parked, this dude actually stopped too. When I got out of the car, I think he said something like "You're a silly driver." You waited 2 minutes to tell me that? Wow!! So, I just brushed him off with a wave of my hand. Then some dude that saw this happen, beckoned us over and told us that the man was the police commissioner and if he were us, he'd move the car somewhere else. Whatever. Thanks for the advice dude but I think we'll be just fine.
- Them Italians need to be punished. They destroyed a lot of the artifacts in Ethiopia.
- There's this bridge that is being built on the road between Addis and Gondar.
You're not allowed to take pictures of it. Don't worry peeps, ain't nobody trying to steal your technological advances.
Anyways, I'm back in Atlanta now. Back to the drudgery of daily existence. It's been a great six weeks and I thank y'all for coming along. Now, a lot of y'all are probably curious as to exactly how much this trip set me back.
Grand Total For this trip: Drumroll please.... ~$10,500. Damn. Guess I need to get back to work ASAP.